Friday, December 3, 2010

How the show went

As we are now fully into the craft show season, I thought I'd tell you about my first craft show experience in more than twelve years. Last Saturday, Nov. 27, I participated in the Steveston Christmas Craft Show.  This juried show is a popular event in the community and I would attend whenever I could. This year I thought I'd try and make my art presence a little more known locally and snag a table. I'm an avid reader of the Etsy Storque, Handmadeology, and HandmadeSpark articles and I've gleaned a lot of tips from them about doing craft shows. I REALLY wanted this show to go well and I prepared for it as much as I could. I looked at other peoples set-ups like on Flickr's ShowMe Your Booth, I watched videos like this one by Linty Fresh, and I tried to mentally prepare myself for any slumps in the sale day. My attitude during the show was my biggest concern because I knew that the more upbeat I was the more sales I would attract. Because the work I do is important to me and is an expression of who I am, I tend to get upset when my work is passed over. I realize that everyone has their own taste but when someone says they don't really like my art it's like they're saying they don't like ME. Silly, I know, and something I'm getting better at dealing with, but it's still true.

So my tactic for staying positive was to bring a funny book and my sketchbook. My husband had bought me "Sh*t my Dad says" and I have to say that it made me laugh out loud so many times that I was looking a little crazy. Put a smile on my face though. For the other times I took a pencil to paper and did some drawing. I'm currently working on some rabbit images and I felt like I created a couple that I can work with. There's nothing better than creating to make me feel good.

All in all, this show was a fantastic learning experience for me and because it was such a success to me, I'm thinking about how else I can branch out locally. Have you got any tips about shows? Would love to hear them.


  1. Your booth looks fantastic! Wish I could have visited. I can totally relate to your feelings about selling at art shows. It does feel like you are put your "heart & soul" out for people to judge. The thing I like about these fairs is meeting artists I have only known online in person. I also try not to have high sales expectations and just think about chatting and connecting with customers. It is very exhausting, but fun to do every once and a while. P.S. your banner is super cute!

  2. Hi Lori,
    Your table looks really good and enticing. I think sometimes people need to see original work a few times to get used to the style, no matter how good the work is. So the more shows you do do ,the more people will respond to them. Craft shows can be very visually overwhelming with all the stuff to look at:)

    The rabbit is very cute btw!

  3. You are so right Susan. Getting out and and meeting others should be the top goal.

    Joan, I think you're probably right about getting seen a few times. The comfort level goes up when they've seen you around a bit. There are plenty of things I buy just because I "know" about them.

  4. Great table set-up Lori! That looks like a busy show - I hope you had some good customers?
    A first show (or first for some time) is hard - I recently did my first craft show too, and it was a very small show, with a low attendance, which made it rather difficult... lots of hard work before for relatively few sales. But it was an experience, it was practice for another time; I covered my costs, so that was okay. I enjoyed it - I hope you did too!
    As for your work being an extension of you - I can relate to that, I think I probably share those feelings (in fact, I think all artists do!). It takes some courage to get out there and offer your work for sale - more so when it's face-to-face. Well done and I wish you many more successful Craft Fairs in the future!

  5. Thanks so much for that Lizzie. : )